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The Platinum Rule: Discover the Four Basic Business Personalities - And How They Can Lead You to Success

Anthony Alessandra and Michael J. O'Connor

Retail Price: $14.95
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Format: Paperback, 291pp.
ISBN: 9780446673433
Publisher: Warner Books
Pub. Date: February 1998

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Item No: 9780446673433

Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Discover the Four Basic Business Personalities—and How They Can Lead You to Success—Director, Socializer, Relater, Thinker—Which One Are You?

It takes all kinds to make a business environment. From CEOs to subordinates, from clients to suppliers, from you, yourself, to your colleague in the next office...everyone falls into one or more of these four basic personality types.

Knowing who's who and fulfilling their unspoken-and often unconscious-needs lead to success: more innovation, cooperation, and achievement. Now from two of the country's leading marketing and behavioral experts comes a widely acclaimed guide that raises win-win strategies to new heights. You'll turn the old Golden Rule to pure platinum as you learn to:

Predict the actions of others and get what you want out of every encounter
  • Use individual differences to build dynamic teams
  • Close more sales and provide better service to your customers
  • Defuse conflict and raise energy, morale, and profits

A Main Selection of Money Book Club™ and an Alternate Selection of Book-of-the-Month Club and of The Executive Program Book Club


You're such a terrific salesperson you could probably sell a stethoscope to a tree surgeon. But from the moment you greet this prospective client, it's obvious he doesn't like you, isn't about to like you, and wouldn't do a deal with you if you were giving the product away.

The conference is packed; you don't know a soul. But then you bump into a stranger and--wow!--it's as if you've been friends forever. Everything that's said and done meshes magically.

As manager, you're fired up about the new program and eager to inspire your employees. You call them in one by one and give them the same lively motivational pitch that so excited you. But you're astonished when their reactions vary from enthusiastic to tepid to hostile.

Personality differences!

They're our boon and our bane. They're what makes life so rich and fascinating--and often so frustrating, too. Especially at work, where teamwork and motivation are pivotal.

Most of us never figure people out. We just ricochet through life. We get along great with some people, refuse to deal with others, or deal as little as possible with still others, because they're so--well, different--from us. But what if you knew the secret of those differences? What if there was a simple, but proven, way to build rapport with everyone? To eliminate personality conflicts? To take charge of your own compatibility? To make business mutually beneficial instead of a contest of wills?

You literally hold such a key in your hands. A product of psychological research and practical application, The Platinum Rule is a proven method of connecting with anyone in the workplace. It's fun, easy to use, and helpful to anyone who's curious about what makes themselves and others tick.

You can learn to handle people the way those people want to be handled...to speak to them in the way they are comfortable listening...to sell to people the way they like to buy...to lead people in ways that are comfortable for them to follow.

In business, especially, people all too often create tension and discomfort by assuming we're all pretty much alike. In fact, most of us, if asked about a philosophy of personal relations, probably would recall The Golden Rule which we learned as kids: "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You."

The Downside of The Golden Rule

That's an old and honorable sentiment. A lot of good has been done in the world by people practicing The Golden Rule. As a guide to personal values, it can be a powerful force for honesty and compassion. But as a yardstick for communication, The Golden Rule has a downside.

If applied verbatim, it can backfire and actually cause personality conflicts. Why? Because literally following The Golden Rule--treating people the way you'd like to be treated--means dealing with others from your own perspective. It implies that we're all alike, that what I want and need is exactly what you want and need. But, of course, we're not all alike. And treating others that way can mean turning off those who have different needs, desires, and hopes.

Instead, we suggest honoring the real intent of The Golden Rule by modifying that ancient axiom just a bit. We think the secret to better rela that may be unfair to the individual and uses unrealistic shortcuts to appreciating unique human beings.

But understanding someone's behavioral style isn't mutually exclusive with getting to genuinely know them. Far from it. In fact, using The Platinum Rule can greatly accelerate that process. If you can quickly pick up on another person's needs-based cues and adapt your own behavior, you'll learn to more genuinely value others. You'll see that their needs are just as valid as yours, and you can, if you choose, seek to meet those desires and forge a deeper relationship.

Throughout this book you'll also see that we urge you to improve your listening skills--and give pointers on how to do so. Good listening enriches relationships and in tandem with The Platinum Rule, can help build lasting rapport that is anything but superficial.

Not Manipulation

Another important point: When we talk about using The Platinum Rule, we're not talking about manipulating people! But, rather, learning, in a way, to speak their language.

It isn't, for example, considered manipulative to speak French when in Paris. Au contraire. It's something you do briefly while on the Frenchman's soil so you can be more compatible. You don't alter your basic nature while in France. Your ideas don't change. But how you present those ideas does change.

Similarly, practicing The Platinum Rule doesn't fundamentally change you or the other person. It empowers you by making you, in a sense, multi-lingual. Knowing how to listen and speak in the "language" of those around you is a delightful, useful tool that can be used to resolve differences, maximize strengths, and enjoy a fuller, more successful life by better understanding yourself and the people around you.


"Great book! Lots of very practical information about how to get in the "other person's shoes" and exceed their expectations. The Platinum Rule teaches you how to surprise, not just satisfy, the customer and lead, not follow, the competition. It's worth more than gold for anyone in business."
—Robert Kriegel, Ph.D., Author, If It Ain't Broke...Break It and Sacred Cows Make The Best Burgers

"An extremely useful and illuminating book on leadership styles -- but more importantly: a book that will give all managers some important insights about themselves."
—Warren Benis, Distinguished Professor and Founding Chairman of USC's Leadership Institute, Author, On Becoming a Leader, An Invented Life, and Why Leaders Can't Lead

"The ability to communicate effectively with others is the key to success and happiness. Tony Alessandra has written the most important, practical, and effective book ever imagined. Everyone should read it!"
—Brian Tracy, Author, Maximum Achievement

About the Author

Tony Alessandra, Ph.D., was recognized by Meetings & Conventions Magazine as "one of America's most electrifying speakers." A marketing strategist and applied behavioral scientist, he is a leading authority on bottom-line marketing tactics and on building business relationships for life. Dr. Alessandra's credentials include thirty years of exceptional business success combined with extensive academic training, including a Ph.D. in marketing. He has delivered over 2,000 presentations for companies such as AT&T, Coca Cola, GE, GM, IBM, and the New York Times. Dr. Alessandra has co-authored twelve books, including Collaborative Selling and Communicating at Work, as well as over fifty audio/video programs and films. He lives in California.

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